This project is based on the total utilization of the carbon source present in plant cell wall towards fuels and value-added products. The primary objectives of this project are to:
- Maximize total accessible fermentable sugars from woody biomass by employing CELF pretreatment to produce a cellulose-rich solid and hydrolyze hemicellulose and depolymerize, and dissolve lignin into a concentrated liquid.
- Achieve >60 g/L ethanol concentration by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of the cellulose-rich material at lower enzyme dosages.
- Recover and fractionate CELF lignin for chemical and physical characterization to define the most efficient valorization pathways.
- Synthesize high-value polyurethane films and lignin nanoparticles from the high quality CELF lignin.
- Develop and apply computer process models to the experimental data from pretreatment, fermentation, and lignin processing to estimate the economic and environmental impact of the integrated process.